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Myanmar's army, Wa ethnic group in

Myanmar's army, Wa ethnic group in joint drills

Kyodo, Bangkok, 13 October 2000. Myanmar's army and the country's
Wa ethnic group have launched joint military exercises using Chinese
weapons in villages close to the Thai border, sources in the area said Friday.

They said about 2,000 soldiers from the two groups are in the drills that
started Thursday last week and is to finish Sunday.

The Thai border area source said that during the drills soldiers used
weapons that included the Multi Launch Rocket System, a new weapon
from China.

The Wa was an armed faction of Myanmar communist rebels but
signed a peace agreement with the Myanmar junta in 1989.

A Thai military officer said the drills indicate the Myanmar
government has accepted the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and
is not serious about fighting drugs because the UWSA is known to
produce methamphetamines and smuggle them into Thailand.